United Nations


The same day that Myanmar’s parliament voted in the first president without a military background in more than half a century, the United Nations held an open dialogue on the latest report submitted by its human rights envoy to the country, which noted that the new government faces a slew of problems from ending civil wars to granting basic rights to the Rohingya minority group.
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As the world anxiously awaits the announcement of a new president for Burma on March 15, the United Nations is discussing the human rights situation in the country. Yesterday, Yanghee Lee, the UN Special Rapporteur on Burma, presented her report in Geneva to the UN Human Rights Council. At the end of this month, a resolution by the Council will decide how to move forward with the scrutiny of the human rights situation in the country.
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Derek Mitchell, the now-former US ambassador to Burma, has helped guide a remarkable transformation in bilateral relations between the two countries since he was installed in 2012 as Washington’s top envoy in the Southeast Asian nation. The Irrawaddy’s English edition editor Kyaw Zwa Moe sat down with Mitchell last month to discuss a range of issues including economic sanctions, national identity and Burma’s historic November general election. Mitchell’s last official day on the job was Monday.
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Myanmar’s military released 46 children and young people from service, the United Nations said in a statement on Monday, in its first discharge of underage recruits this year.
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Migrant workers are often looked down on – even reviled – in their host countries, and ignored by or trafficked from their home countries. But policies to protect the rights of migrants benefit almost everyone involved and help drive economic growth, according to a new United Nations study.
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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has produced a video encouraging Thais to help Myanmar refugees living along the Thailand-Myanmar border.
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Myanmar citizens holding the UNHCR refugee card allegedly constitute the majority of foreigners detained for drugs here, in 2015 and 2014.
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In what many have hailed as a new dawn in terms of respect for human rights in Myanmar with the coming to power of a National League for Democracy government, some activists are questioning how much, and how soon, anything is going to change.
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Many of the Muslims displaced by inter-communal violence in Myanmar are still prevented from moving freely and often denied access to local hospitals, a senior United Nations humanitarian official said today, calling for an end to such discriminatory practices.
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The UNAIDS country representative to Myanmar Mr. Eamonn Murphy said that the government should increase government spending on people living with HIV. UNAIDS is cooperating with the Myanmar government in providing treatment to HIV-positive patients.
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Over 3,000 people have fled their homes in northern Myanmar following clashes between two ethnic rebel groups, the United Nations said Tuesday, raising fears the government’s fragile peace efforts could be fracturing.
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The United Nations World Food Programme will support flood-affected people in Chin State with 500 tonnes of rice, as they continue to struggle after landslides and flood waters ravaged swathes of land in the country’s poorest state last year.
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The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed President Barack Obama’s nominee to be ambassador to Myanmar on Tuesday, after the administration assured lawmakers it would not rush to ease sanctions as the country moves from decades of military rule.
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With the news that the United States Senate on Tuesday voted to unanimously endorse Scot Marciel, presently serving as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, to be ambassador to Burma, The Irrawaddy revisits an interview with Marciel from February last year during his visit to the country.
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North Korea told UN agencies on Tuesday it plans to launch a satellite as early as next week, a move that could advance the country’s long-range missile technology after its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6.
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Set up five years ago, Myanmar’s National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) was part of a charm offensive mounted by President U Thein Sein’s quasi-civilian government that succeeded in attracting international publicity and funding. Any legitimacy it may have held has taken a battering since.
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Yesterday marked a significant moment in Myanmar’s history: Members of parliament, chosen by the people at the landmark elections in November last year, took up their posts in the expansive parliamentary complex in Nay Pyi Taw. For the first time in more than half a century, the people of this glorious land – and the world – witnessed a transfer of power from one elected hluttaw to another.
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A friend , who works with women here, mentioned to me recently that someone she knows working in the UN had complained to her about this column.
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In an exclusive interview with Mizzima before he finishes his post, US Ambassador Derek Mitchell talked with Mizzima Editor-in-Chief Soe Myint about a range of issues, principally the victory of the National League for Democracy, the ongoing peace process, and concerns about Myanmar’s relationship with North Korea.
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Opium production in Burma has stabilized for a third year, the United Nations said on Tuesday, but remained a daunting challenge for the untested government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi that takes power in February.
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